The situation in France is as obscure as ever: The
Finance Committee of the Chamber has been busily, working at M. Doumer's Finance Bill, but almost wholly towards its destruction. The majority of the ,Finance Conunittee belong to the Left, and their object is-to turn M. Doumer's Bill, -which- for the most part relies upon indirect taxation, into a Bill distinguished by' direct taxation. When M. Doumer attends the Committee he is not very well received and his expostulations are evidently resented"; In vain he explains that if his tax on paYinents is not accepted the Budget cannot be saved,1 and inflation will have to go on—more banknotes will! have to be printed. Little rays of hope, however, glint through the clouds here and there. The Radical and Republican Socialist members of the Finance Committee, though they are heart and soul with their Socialist col-: leagues in emasculating M. Downer's Bill, are not smiled; upon by most of their party, who want to get soniething', practical done and believe that it would be better to' accept M. Doumer's Bill.